Our Big List of 50 Indoor Activities for Kids in Dubai
Wondering what to do while the kids are indoors all day? Our list of 50 boredom-busting activities will keep children entertained and busy.
10 March 2020
Have a look at our giant list of indoor activities to do, from toddlers to teenagers.
When school's out or the weather is keeping children inside, it can be challenging keeping them entertained and active, especially when they have a lot of pent-up energy.
As UAE schools, nurseries, and universities close for four weeks as a precautionary measure against the novel Coronavirus, students across the country will have a much longer spring break than expected. During the early days, kids may enjoy being away from school, but eventually the cabin fever sets in.
But for whatever reason the kids are staying indoors, there are heaps of boredom-busting activities, games, crafts, and other entertaining/educational things kids can do to challenge their muscles and minds.
We've compiled a giant list of indoor games and activities for kids to do in Dubai.
50. Card games
Card games a great way to challenge and entertain young minds. Simply grab a box of cards and pick from a range of social, tricky, and family-fun games such as Go Fish, Old Maid, Slap Jack, Snap, Sevens, and Ranter-Go-Round.
There is also a wide selection of modern card games with exciting gameplay. Some we recommend are UNO (special-action card game where players have to quicky get rid of their pieces), Munchkins (a family-friendly strategy card game that involves dungeons and monsters), Werewolf (a fun card game of deception and sneaking), and Taboo (a fun guessing game without saying the actual word).
49. Board games
Exercise those creative and problem-solving muscles with an entertaining board game. There are all sorts of board games available in Dubai or can be bought online. Children can opt for classic ones like Chess, Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, and Snakes and Ladders.
Or have a go at the latest modern board games such as Richard Scarry's Busytown (a six-foot-long puzzle game that's perfect for toddlers as it involves counting practice, conversation, and event sequencing) or Candy Land (a colourful and exciting board game featuring sweets).
48. Table-top games
Indoor table-top games to consider include Suspend (a family game that exercises your motor and critical thinking skills) and Telestrations (the classic Telephone Game turned into sketches).
You can go for store-bought puzzles or turn it into an arts and crafts session by making your own!
Have the little ones draw on a piece of cardboard, outline puzzle pieces using a pencil, cut out the pieces with scissors, then mix them up.
46. Name That Song
Pretend like the family is on a game show by playing songs for them to guess. Parents and kids can take turns playing tracks from singers, movies, TV shows, etc. and the ones playing have to buzz in their answer.
Make it more fun by having a penalty, such as having the losing team eat sour candy.
45. Learn a dance
If you have internet access at home, have your kids go on YouTube and learn some popular dance routines.
44. Cook and bake
Cooking and baking with kids helps in teaching them about eating healthy, food hygiene, as well as helps in developing their maths, motor, and concentration skills.
It also allows for valuable time to spend between parent and child while working on something fun and delicious.
43. Watch a movie
Pop some kernels, pile the kids on the couch, and settle down to watch a family movie or series. To make it more interactive and eye-opening, set a controversial keyword or theme before the movie and then discuss it when it's over.
For example, if you're watching the Disney animated film Dumbo, perhaps you and the kids can have a discussion about animal cruelty after watching the movie.
42. Learn to code
If your child has been expressing interest in science and computers, vacations and school-leaves are the perfect time for kids to learn how to code.
Have a go at any one of these free coding programs for kids: Code.org, Code Monster, Khan Academy, Swift Playgrounds, and Scratch.
Some low-cost coding programs for kids include Code Combat, Codemoji, Lightbot, and Codecademy.
41. Learn or practice an instrument
With plenty of time on their hands, kids can take advantage of their no-school days by learning or practicing an instrument, such as the guitar, piano, or drums.
Apps like YouTube feature thousands of free educational videos, from the basics to how to play specific songs.
40. Paint a masterpiece
If your kid is more the artsy type, why not paint alongside them to create a watercolour masterpiece. No rush, there's lots of time.
39. Write letters
Letters aren't out just yet. Kids can take the time to sit down with actual pens and paper to write a heartfelt letter to friends and relatives.
38. Tie-dye some shirts
Tie-dye is a fun, creative activity for both girls and boys. It's also great for the little ones as they can partake in sensory play thanks to the paints.
Lay a plastic tablecloth or some newspapers on the floor, get an old or white shirt, grab some gloves and tie-dye paint, and let the kids go wild.
37. Science experiments
Have your kids embrace their inner Einstein with some cool and simple science experiments.
Think: DIY slime, lava lamps, actual hot ice, or the classic baking soda and vinegar volcano.
Have a singing party at home using a karaoke machine or a toy mic. You can find plenty of videos on YouTube of songs with just the instrumentals, perfect for a casual karaoke session indoors.
Mums, prepare yourselves if your child has been obsessing about any Disney movies lately.
35. Indoor "camping"
When it's too hot to go camping outdoors, you can do so right at home. Lay the sleeping bags in the living room along with a tent, board/card games, and homemade s'mores.
Add some glow-in-the-dark stickers to the walls then turn down the lights and pretend you're lying under the stars.
33. Have a tea party
Get your little one all dressed up for a tea party at home with their favourite toys.
If there's no school the next day and they're missing company, let your child have a fun sleepover with his or her friends!
31. Indoor jungle gym
Parents can set up an indoor obstacle course for kids to burn off all that pent-up energy. Make sure your course will allow a variety of movements such as crawling, jumping, etc.
Consider setting up a table to crawl under, a roll of tissue to jump over, sofa cushions to hop on to avoid the "lava floor", etc. They'll be sleepy and tired in no time.
30. Indoor bowling
Set up your own bowling lane at home using plastic bottles or paper cups for pins. Make it fun and competitive by keeping track of the score or forming teams.
29. Homemade puppets and theatre
For some creative arts and crafts, have your child make their own puppets and put on their own show.
Unsure where to start? Try creating puppets based on their favourite fairytales, for a familiar story.
28. Digital sports
If you have an Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or Wii Fit at home, it's a great opportunity to enjoy some sports and physical activity in your living room. Try fitness and dance games such as Just Dance, Kinect Sports, Zumba Fitness, and Ring Fit Adventure.
For a more immersive experience, try using a VR (virtual reality) headset so you and your child will feel as though you're outdoors.
27. Indoor exercise
If you don't own a game console, classic indoor exercise is the way to go. Here's a list of exercise games your child will enjoy:
- Jump rope
- Human wheelbarrow races
- Freeze dance
- Jumping jacks
26. Read some books
There's no other activity that can easily pass the time than a good book. Give your kid an interesting book to devour and they won't be bored for long.
25. Sock skating
Let your little one put on some socks and slide around the house floors as though they're skating on ice.
Twister: Get in a good stretch by playing a game of twister. Don’t have the game? Make your own by taping construction paper circles on the floor.
23. Put on a fashion runway
Children simply love dressing up as it enables them to get creative. Upgrade their dress-up games into an activity where little fashionistas can strut down the runway.
Parents, siblings, or friends can play as the judge who will award points for creativity, walk, and style.
22. Clean up
Chores and fun just don't seem to work well together, but cleaning up can be transformed into a fun and often rewarding game.
If you want your child to dust, try hiding a few AED 1 coins, treats, stickers, and other interesting little items in places. Tell your kid they can keep anything interesting they find while dusting.
Competitive? Set a 10-minute timer and have kids scramble around the house to clean for a small prize.
21. Learning printables
For an educational indoor activity, print out some learning printables for kids online. There are heaps to choose that will keep your child entertained, busy, and brain-trained for the day.
For example, alphabet printables - these are ideal for the little ones who are just learning their A-Zs.
20. Play doctor
Mums have been cleaning playground scrape wounds and nursing winter colds for years. This time, let your kid play doctor while parents take on the role of the patient.
Children can even practice learning about shots, why they need them, and how to apply a vaccine on their stuffed animals.
19. DIY friendship bracelets
If he or she is missing their schoolfriends, help your kid handmake some friendship bracelets using wool, yarn, and other knickknacks at home. It's a simple but heartfelt craft that will keep them occupied for hours.
Ask them to create a list of their closest friends at school to give a bracelet to.
If you live in a place where you can occasionally spot birds, indoor bird-watching makes for a lovely, relaxing activity that will also reconnect your children to nature.
Prepare a cozy spot to watch feathery friends from and create a list of avians the kids can keep an eye out for.
17. Create origamis
Origamis are the art of Japanese paper folding to create interesting shapes, such as birds and other animals. The activity helps develop children's motor skills, brain, imagination, sense of colours and shapes, concentration, and helps improve their spatial awareness.
16. Handmade bookmarks
Have your kids create their own bookmarks so they will never lose track of where they're reading. The best part is that bookmarks can be made from almost any material, like ribbons, pieces of cardboard, and even dried and pressed flowers from the garden.
15. Trivia night
Run a fun trivia night with the whole family. It's a family-friendly indoor activity that can challenge kids' knowledge.
14. Family history night
Dive into your family history by cuddling up with the kids and telling tales of your parents, grandparents, and other interesting family stories. One option is to invite a grandparent over to share their experiences.
13. Create your own slime
This indoor activity for kids is a must-try! The texture gives children plenty of sensory play as they create, stretch, and squish their own slime.
Have a look at this recipe in making fluffy colourful slime, here.
12. Scavenger hunt at home
If your kid is really bored, try a classic treasure hunt or scavenger hunt at home. This activity helps boost a child's problem-solving and observation skills, as well as their directionality.
11. Decorate shoes
If your kids have some white shoes lying around, let them decorate according to their interests. Provide them with fabric pens, stick-on gems, and permanent markers.
It helps children express their individualism in their own way.
10. Create paperweights for dads
Paperweights for dads make for a small but meaningful homemade gift. And it's so simple to make, too!
All you need are some smooth rocks or stones and white markers. After washing the stones, ask kids to decorate them with a drawing or special messages.
9. Indoor spa day
Fun for mum and kids! Think: colourful bath bombs, homemade face masks made from strawberries and bananas or honey and oats, or mum-and-daughter manicures and pedicures at home.
Kids can paint their nails with all sorts of lovely colours.
8. Personalised notebooks
Have kids customise their own notebooks from home! Pick up a blank book with a hard plain cover so they'll have more space to let their creativity run.
Try using stamps, stickers, markers, washi tape, etc.
7. Learn magic
Kids might seem like they prefer to be entertained rather than entertain, but children typically enjoy wowing other people, whether it's telling a long story about school or an interesting thing they picked up from the beach.
Learning magic tricks helps kids learn ways to astonish others, develop critical thinking skills, self-discipline, boosts dexterity, and improves their self-confidence and charisma.
Crocheting can be a rewarding experience for children, especially if they enjoy crafting. When kids crochet, they hone their motor skills, express their creativity, improve basic reading and maths skills, and follow instructions as they work on crochet patterns.
It can also be a very relaxing activity for some.
5. Face painting
Working with brushes, face paints, and other small tools helps kids develop motor skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and develop an awareness of self.
4. Sensory play
Best for little ones, sensory play supports childhood development in motor skills, learning sensory attributes such as rough, cold, sticky, dry, wet, etc., cognitive growth, and heightens their understanding of touch, smell, sight, sounds, and taste.
3. Make a dream catcher
If your kid is having trouble sleeping, making a dreamcatcher is an ideal indoor activity. A dream catcher is a Native American object that is hung above someone's bed while they're asleep and it is believed to trap nightmares for improved sleep.
While your child is making a dream catcher - which can be built using some wood, strings, and beads - try talking about what's been worrying them lately, as it could be influencing their reluctance to sleep.
2. Indoor gardening
Gardening is a fantastic combination of messy play and learning about the environment. It can also open up hundreds of fun activities about anything, from fruits and vegetables to insects and planting.
Kids can try their hand at growing plants in the kitchen so they can develop an understanding of where food comes from and what they eat. Other gardening activities children can do at home include decorating plant pots or building a simple bird feeder.
1. Distance learning
To avoid disrupting your child's learning, distance learning makes for a well-worth indoor activity. During vacations, students are usually provided with learning materials and worksheets to complete over the holiday.